Get ready to get on board our privater charter train that will take you from Moscow to the largest city in the world north of the Arctic Circle. In addition to chasing Northern Lights, accompanied by local experts, you will have the opportunity of a short sledge tour with reindeers, to know the culture of the Sami people and to discover two of the most historical Russian cities. All this traveling in the safest and most reliable way to travel in winter in these latitudes.
Dec 27, 2019 - Jan 5, 2020
Jan 24, 2020 - Feb 2, 2020
Jan 31, 2020 - Feb 9, 2020
Arrival at Moscow airport where we will be met and transferred to our hotel, where we will check-in.
We will have time to spend the rest of the day free at leisure in Moscow to recharge and take a breather. You should know that many of the stores are open until 10pm, even during the weekend. It is a good time to buy souvenirs or appropriate winter clothes for the trip we are going to undertake.
We will spend the first night in our hotel in Moscow.
Today we have an intense day to discover the "heart of Russia". We will visit the Kremlin and the fantastic orthodox cathedrals on Kremlin ground. We will walk over the famous Red Square and enter the well known GUM department store, one of the oldest in Europe.
We will continue our city sightseeing to see the Bolshoi Theate, the Parliament Building (the Duma), and, continuing along the Moscow River, we will discover the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, Arbat Street, Sparrow Hills and the mighty Lomonosov University. We will end our tour at Victory Park and Novodevichy Monastery.
At night, before the hotel check-out, we will attend a classical music concert in the Russian capital.
Around midnight, we will board our train, starting our 2,000 km journey to the Arctic Circle.
We will enjoy our first night aboard the Northern Lights Express.
Today we will spend all day at the Northern Lights Express. We will have time to explore it and discover all the areas where we can continue to get to know our fellow travelers.
We will enjoy the amazing landscapes and we will be able to observe how they are changing as we head north. While everything around us is completely covered in snow, with outside temperatures below 0 ° C, we can relax in our warm and comfortable cabin, in the bar-restaurant or in the lounge.
Among the activities proposed for today, there are some interesting lectures about the history and culture of Russia, which will be give by our tour escorts.
After dinner, a taste of various sorts of the famous Vodka will be celebrated.
Today we will also spend the night aboard the Northern Lights Express.
In the morning we will reach the Apatity station, from where we will be transfered to the nearby city of Kirovsk. There we can visit a unique Snow Village, built with ice cubes as a Igloo.
In the evening, if weather permits, we will leave the city for our first Aurora Boreal chase. With snowmobiles we will head towards the mountains, from where we will have the best views to try to admire the amazing phenomenon of the Northern Lights.
We will spend the night at our hotel in Kirovsk.
We will start the day traveling by bus to a Sami village, where we will get an introduction into the culture and life of the local people who call themselves Sami. In addition to seeing how they live and we will have the opportunity of a short sledge tour with reindeers
Back on the bus, we will head to Murmansk, the northernmost point of our expedition.
After dinner we will go chasing Aurora Borealis again, accompanied by local experts, who will take us to the places where there are the greatest chances to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.
First night at our hotel in Murmansk.
Murmansk is located on the shore of the Barents Sea and was founded in 1915. Despite being north of the Arctic Circle, the harbor is ice-free in winter thanks to the gulf stream.
In the morning we will make a panoramic tour to the city to see its most important places.
The afternoon is free at leisure. We can stroll arround the city or rest to get ready for our last Aurora Borealis Hunting.
As always, if weather is permitting, the local experts will take us to other places to try to see the Aurora Borealis.
After the night tour, we will return to the hotel, where we will spend our last night in Murmansk.
Onboard the Northern Lights Express
Today we will return to our private train Northern Lights Express. In the morning we will start our way back south, this time to St. Petersburg.
We will spend all day in our train, admiring the landscape we are going through installed comfortably in our cabins. Once again we can enjoy the lectures of our tour escorts or meet with our travel companions in the common areas to share the adventures experienced so far. All this while enjoying the meals with local specialities.
Last night on board the Northern Lights Express.
Our train will arrive in St. Petersburg before lunchtime. This city, also called the "window to Europe", was founded more than 300 years ago by Tsar Peter the Great, and designed by European architects.
In the afternoon, we will take a panoramic bus tour that will take us to the most important tourist spots, such as the Winter Palace (the visit to the inside of the Hermitage will be tomorrow), St Isaac’s Cathedral, Church of Our Saviours on Spilled Blood, Peter & Paul Fortress and Nevsky Prospekt.
We will end the day sleeping in our luxurious hotel in St. Petersburg.
Today we will make two essential cultural visits. On the one hand we will visit the Hermitage Museum, or Winter Palace, former residence of the Tsars, and today home of one of the finest art collections in the world.
On the other hand we will travel to Pushkin, about 25 kilometers southeast of St. Petersburg, to see the Catherine Palace. In this spectacular palace, which was the summer residence of the Tsars, we will find the spectacular ballroom and the legendary Amber Room.
To finish the day, in the evening, we will go to one of the theaters of St. Petersburg to attend a performance of a ballet.
Last night at our hotel in St. Petersburg and last night of our trip.
The Northern Lights Explorer offers a choice of 2 accomodation categories: Gold, with private toilet and shower ensuite, or Standard Plus, with shared facilities.
The train also has restaurant cars, a lounge, with live piano music every night, a bar, and a lecture area where your tour escorts hold lectures about the daily life, history and geography of the regions visited. On some evenings we show films about Russia. Also, your tour escorts offer a language course introducing the Russian language to you.
Traveling by train is the most comfortable, reliable and safe way to explore the northern part of Russia during the winter months. Normally the flights can suffer delays or cancel depending on the bad weather, however the train is not affected by this problems.
CABINS AND CATEGORIES
As we have already mentioned, there are two types of cabins:
- Gold Cabins: 1 or 2 people per cabin, shower and ensuite private bathroom.
- Standard Plus Cabins: 1 or 2 people per cabin.
Gold sleeping cars offer the most comfortable and spacious type of accommodation on our private train. They have a private toilet, wash basin and a spacious shower cabin ensuite. In each cabin there is one lower and one upper bed, a table by the window, a chair opposite the beds, a small wardrobe and storage space. In each cabin there are 2Euro-Sockets for 220 V. The cars are equipped with individually controlled air condition, that only operates when the train is moving.
Gold sleeping cars have only 5 cabins each that may be booked for double or single use.
The dimensions of the Gold cabin are:
Cabin 2.00 x 3.50 m = 7,0 sqm.
Lower bed 120 x 185 cm
Upper bed 80 x 185 cm
Standard Plus Cabins
Standard Plus is the most popular type of accommodation on our private train. They are equipped with 2 lower beds and 2 upper beds. But only the lower beds are used for sleeping, so the two upper beds can be used as additional storage space or can simply be folded away. Toilets and wash basins for common use are located on both ends of each Standard Plus sleeping car. The sleeping cars are equipped with air condition with central control, which only opperates when the train is moving. In each cabin there are Euro-Sockets for 220 V.
Each Standard Plus sleeping car has 9 cabins that can be booked for double or single use.
The dimensions of the Standard Plus cabin are:
Cabin 2,00 x 2,00 m = 4,0 sqm
Beds 65 x 185 cm
Daily change of local specialities of Russia in specially selected local restaurants or in the restaurant on board the private train. We will also enjoy Russian Vodka & Pierogi Tastings, and a Russian Tea Ceremony.
To be made before the departure of the trip:
- Russian Visa: about € 58 *
* Issue price of visa. he costs of shipping, handling and processing must be added, based on anticipation or urgency of the issuance of each embassy (prices are approximate, each embassy has its own rates, you can estimate between 120 and 150 euros in total for each visa). We provide all necessary documentation and letters of invitation but it is the responsibility of each passenger to process their visas. This can be made directly at the consulates or by a visa processing enterprise.
- 3 night's accommodation on board the private "Northern Lights Express" in the chosen accomodation category
- 6 night's in a double room:
- 1 night in a 4 * / 5 * hotel in Moscow
- 1 night in a 3 * hotel in Kirovsk
- 2 night in a 4 * hotel in Murmansk
- 2 nights at 5 * hotel in St. Petersburg
- Full board 9 breakfasts, 8 lunchs and 9 dinners
- Specialties of local cuisine, Russian vodka tastings and Russian tea ceremony
- Shower facilities: Gold cabins have private toilets and showers, Standard cabins have shared bathrooms facilities.
- Transfer of arrival and departure from the airport to the hotel and vice-versa on the first and last day
- Sightseeing tours in Moscow, Kirovsk, Murmansk and St. Petersburg
- Lectures on board (introduction to Russian culture, history, language, today's life ...)
- Cultural events mentioned in the program
- Tour escorts: English and Spanish speaking tour guides throughout the tour
- English speaking tour director throughout the trip
- Special Travel Assistance Insurance
- Flights from origin to Moscow and return from St. Petersburg to the point of origin.
- Russian visa
- Tippings (approximately € 100 in total would be the recommended budget)